"She has blossomed so much from the fragile baby I once knew": Iviee's Riley Story
March 11, 2005, started out to be a very typical day. My children went about their normal routines, my husband went to work and I did my daily tasks. Suddenly, my water broke, and I felt extreme pain in my stomach. I knew this was not typical, because I was only 24 weeks pregnant.
I called my husband to tell him what was happening and remembered telling him not to worry, because I was certain I would see him later that evening. I was positive I was having false labor pains. I proceeded to contact my obstetrician and was told to immediately go to the hospital. With every second, the pain grew more intense.
Soon after I arrived in the labor and delivery department, I was anesthetized and rushed into the ER for an emergency caesarean section. When I awoke, my family and close friends stood around my hospital bed.
I was not aware of the status of my baby but was quite sure she did not make it. I learned that my baby was in the NICU. She weighed 1 pound 5 ounces, and the next 72 hours were critical to her survival.
My first visit with my daughter, Iviee, was on her second day of life. I had never seen anything so sad. I felt helpless. I wanted to hold, touch or kiss her but none of this was possible. She remained hospitalized for almost 4 ½ months, including a stay at Riley Hospital.
During her stay in the NICUs, she had Chronic Lung Disease (CLD), a grade 2-3 Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH), Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), 19 blood transfusions, a collapsed lung and an inguinal hernia. She was also on the oscillator and ventilator for over two months. She experienced what typical extreme preemies endure during their lengthy hospital stays.
Iviee came home on oxygen and had an apnea monitor. She remained on it throughout her first year. Iviee has mild cerebral palsy, Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL) and a speech delay. She has never let her challenges keep her from striving to be the best she can be.
Today, Iviee has blossomed so much from that fragile baby I once knew. She started fourth grade this school year and is progressing well. She loves her teacher and has many friends. Iviee loves to express herself through writing, and often writes essays and stories about her life and family. She also enjoys playing with her sisters and cousins, reading books, playing computer games, singing and dancing.
Our family recently went to the Riley NICU Family Reunion and enjoyed having the chance to see some of the staff members who helped us during her fight, and meet other families who shared similar experiences.
I am so thankful for the caring people at Riley who made a difference for her.
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